The Iowa State Association of Counties is asking Iowa legislators to impose a 50-cent-per-month fee on cell phone bills to pay for enhanced 9-1-1 service. Iowa State Association of Counties executive director Bill Patterson says the problem is that while you can call 9-1-1 from a cell phone, responders may not be able to track where the call’s coming from like they can with a land line. Patterson says there have been incidents in Iowa and nationwide where it has been difficult to pinpoint the location where a cell phone caller to 9-1-1 operators has originated. Patterson says the 50-cents-per-month charge would raise money to buy the equipment that would “find” where a cell phone call to 9-1-1 is coming from.Patterson says it’s time to complete the system, and the money’s needed to defray the costs.Patterson says cell phone companies and 9-1-1 call centers face “significant” costs to put the system in place. He says once the system’s up and running, the monthly fee should remain in place to provide the funds for system upkeep and upgrades.
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